US police in Israel to learn counter-terrorism techniques

1. Wide shot training exercise
2. American police officers watching the exercise
3. Border policemen running and shooting
4. Security
5. Shooting figures at the shooting site
6. Policeman shooting
7. Shooting figures
8. American police officer watching
9. American police officer shooting
10. SOUNDBITE: (English) Major Wenda Phifer:
“The counter-terrorism activities and Israeli has dealt with this for such a long time and specifically in the last eighteen months, I think we’ve got that first hand knowledge of what to expect, how to react to it and I think that it’s a continuing, learning cycle. It’s not something that we’re going to learn overnight and that’s why we have this relationship with Israel.”
11. More of military exercise
12. Americans watching
13. Various shooting exercise
14. UPSOUND: (English) Israeli border policeman explaining about weapons and guns
15. Various of rescue equipment
16. Various shooting exercise
17. SOUNDBITE: (English) Freddi Tompkins:
“We had that trouble at the World Towers, we never really thought about it until then. But now it wakens up everybody’s eyes. Terror is not confined to those areas.”
18. Various group sitting inside room and listening to lecture
19. More of military exercise, policemen running and shooting


A group of police officers from the US state of Georgia witnessed their Israeli counterparts in action on Wednesday during a military training exercise.

The officers watched as Israeli border police enacted out dramatic scenes they face almost daily.

The exercise involved shooting militants who opened fire in a crowded street, stopping suspicious-looking vehicles and firing at targets 100 metres (yards) away from camouflaged sniper positions.

Next the US police officers had the chance to test their own capabilities, by firing off a few rounds.

The group of 11 officers from various law enforcement agencies in Georgia are in Israel as part of a two-week study tour to learn counterterrorism techniques and other policing tips.

Ties between American authorities and Israel have intensified, since the September 11 attacks.

Freddi Tompkins, a member of the group, says terrorism is now a global problem.

This is the 10th year officers from the southern state have visited Israel as part of the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange Programme which began ahead of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.

The group is made up of senior law enforcement officers from including a number of county sheriffs, as well as representatives from various transit police units as well as the state department of public safety.

They have also met forensic experts, bomb disposal teams and have been given explanations on how to deal with suicide bombings.

There are also plans to meet the division of the Israeli police that deals with security on public transport and in schools.

Georgia is eight times the size of Israel, but all the Americans agreed they were learning invaluable lessons
to take back to their different units.

One of just two women in the group, Major Wenda Phifer, is from the Fulton County Police Department in Atlanta.

She says those taking part in the military training exercise have a lot to learn from Israel, which has extensive experience in dealing with problems of terrorism.

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